Jay-Z (a.k.a. Jigga, Hova, or Young Hov'; born Shawn Carter
on December 4, 1969 in Brooklyn, New York) is a rap/hip hop performer and record label executive; one of the most popular and successful rappers of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Besides pursuing his own career, Jay-Z was one of the founders of Roc-a-Fella Records, a successful hip-hop label which also launched the careers of Beanie Sigel
, Kanye West, Memphis Bleek, Young Gunz
, Freeway, and others. Known for his metaphoric lines, freestyling abilities, crafty wordplay, and blending of street and popular hip hop, Jay-Z became one of the most respected rappers in the music industry before announcing his retirement from recording in 2004. Jay-Z was later appointed the new president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings. As of 2005, he is estimated to be worth $320 million, and is dating R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles.